General Session & All-Attendee Event Speakers
At NCTE’s first-ever virtual Annual Convention you’ll have the opportunity to hear from inspiring speakers who care about literacy as much as you do. The art of teaching and learning writing, reading, speaking, and listening is multifaceted, complex, and rich with possibility. That’s why each year we select keynote speakers who bring a range of perspectives to the mic: 2020 is no exception. We’re thrilled to share this stellar lineup with you.
Stay tuned for more announcements in the coming months. #NCTE20 will feature various prominent authors who will speak, motivate, and inspire us in these trying times. Times listed for Live and Scheduled Sessions are in Eastern Time.
Kali Fajardo-AnstineFriday, November 20
Kali Fajardo-Anstine is from Denver, Colorado. Her fiction has appeared in The American Scholar, Boston Review, Bellevue Literary Review, The Idaho Review, Southwestern American Literature, and elsewhere. Fajardo-Anstine has received fellowships from MacDowell Colony, the Corporation of Yaddo, and Hedgebrook. She received her Master of Fine Arts from the University of Wyoming and has lived across the country, from Durango, Colorado, to Key West, Florida.
Joy HarjoSaturday, November 21
Joy Harjo’s nine books of poetry include An American Sunrise, Conflict Resolution for Holy Beings, How We Became Human: New and Selected Poems, and She Had Some Horses. Harjo’s memoir Crazy Brave won several awards, including the PEN USA Literary Award for Creative Non-Fiction and the American Book Award. She is the recipient of the Ruth Lilly Prize from the Poetry Foundation for Lifetime Achievement, the 2015 Wallace Stevens Award from the Academy of American Poets for proven mastery in the art of poetry, a Guggenheim Fellowship, the William Carlos Williams Award from the Poetry Society of America, and the United States Artist Fellowship. Harjo’s latest is a book of poetry from Norton, An American Sunrise.
Andrea Davis PinkneySaturday, November 21
Andrea Davis Pinkney has had an illustrious thirty-year career in various facets of the publishing industry. Pinkney is the New York Times bestselling and award-winning author of numerous books for children and young adults, including Martin Rising: Requiem for a King, The Red Pencil, and Rhythm Ride: A Trip through the Motown Sound. Her work has garnered multiple Coretta Scott King Book Awards, the Boston Globe/Horn Book Honor, and the Parenting Publications gold medal, among other citations. She is a four-time NAACP Image Award nominee, and recipient of both the Regina Medal and the Arbuthnot Honor Award, for her singular body of work and distinguished contribution to the field of children’s literature. Additionally, she has served in a variety of leadership and executive roles, including her current role as vice president and executive editor at Scholastic, where she has served since 2005.
Patrisse Khan-CullorsSunday, November 22
Patrisse Khan-Cullors is an artist, organizer, and freedom fighter from Los Angeles, California. Cofounder of the Black Lives Matter Global Network and founder of the Los Angeles-based grassroots organization Dignity and Power Now, she is also a performance artist, Fulbright scholar, popular public speaker, and a Sydney Peace Prize recipient. For 20 years, Khan-Cullors has been on the frontlines of criminal justice reform, and is currently leading Reform L.A. Jails, a ballot initiative that was won in March 2020. She is currently the faculty director of Prescott College’s new Social and Environmental Arts Practice MFA program, which she developed by nesting a curriculum focused on the intersection of art, social justice, and community organizing that is first of its kind in the nation. Khan-Cullors is also the author of the instant New York Times bestseller, When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir, with asha bandele.
Keynote speakers will speak during our traditional meal function times (breakfasts and luncheons). This year these events are included in your convention registration and do not require a ticket and additional fee.
Aida SalazarFriday, November 20 | 12:30-2:00 pm ET
Aida Salazar is an award-winning author and arts activist whose writings for adults and children explore issues of identity and social justice. She is the author of the middle-grade verse novels, The Moon Within (International Latino Book Award Winner), The Land of the Cranes (Fall 2020), and the biographical picture book, Jovita Wore Pants: The Story of a Revolutionary Fighter (Spring 2021), all published by Scholastic. She is slated to coedit, with Yamile Saied Méndez, Calling the Moon: A Middle Grade Anthology on Menstruation by Writers of Color (Candlewick Press 2022). She is a founding member of Las Musas, a Latinx kidlit debut author collective. Her story, By the Light of the Moon, was adapted into a ballet production by the Sonoma Conservatory of Dance and is the first Xicana-themed ballet in history. She lives with her family of artists in a teal house in Oakland, California.
Angie ThomasSaturday, November 21 | 9:30-10:45 am ET
Angie Thomas was born, raised, and still resides in Jackson, Mississippi, as indicated by her accent. She is a former teen rapper whose greatest accomplishment was an article about her in Right-On Magazine with a picture included. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from Belhaven University and an unofficial degree in hip-hop. She can also still rap if needed. She is an inaugural winner of the Walter Dean Myers Grant 2015, awarded by We Need Diverse Books (diversebooks.org). Her award-winning, acclaimed debut novel, The Hate U Give, is a #1 New York Times bestseller and a major motion picture from Fox 2000, starring Amandla Stenberg and directed by George Tillman, Jr. Her second novel, On the Come Up, is on sale now.
Chanel MillerSaturday, November 21 | 12:30-2:00 pm ET
Chanel Miller is a writer and artist who received her Bachelor of Arts in Literature from the University of California, Santa Barbara. Her critically acclaimed memoir, Know My Name, was a New York Times bestseller, a New York Times Book Review Notable Book, and a National Book Critics Circle Award winner, as well as a best book of 2019 in Time, The Washington Post, the Chicago Tribune, NPR, and People, among others. She is a 2019 Time Next 100 honoree and a 2016 Glamour Woman of the Year honoree under her pseudonym, “Emily Doe.”
Terri Rose BayntonSaturday, November 21 | 12:30-2:00 pm ET
Jerry PinkneySaturday, November 21 | 12:30-2:00 pm ET
Jerry Pinkney is the illustrator of the 2020 Orbis Pictus Award winner, A Place to Land: Martin Luther King Jr. and the Speech That Inspired a Nation. The legendary author’s and illustrator’s many accolades include the Caldecott Medal, five Coretta Scott King Awards, five Coretta Scott King Honor Awards, four New York Times Best Illustrated Books, and four gold medals from the Society of Illustrators. He served on the National Council of the Arts, is a trustee emeritus of the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, and has taught at the Pratt Institute, the University of Delaware, and the University of Buffalo. He lives in Westchester, New York.
Kate & Jol TempleSaturday, November 21 | 12:30-2:00 pm ET
Kate and Jol Temple are internationally awarded children’s authors whose books have been translated into more than 20 languages. Their recent picture book, Room on Our Rock, is an allegory about empathy and refugees. It can be read front-to-back or back-to-front for two different perspectives. The book received the NCTE Charlotte Huck Award for outstanding fiction with the potential to transform children’s lives. It was also listed as a Notable Books for a Global Society by the Children’s Literature and Reading Special Interest Group of the International Literacy Association; named a Notable Children’s Book in the Language Arts by the Children’s Literature Assembly; and selected for the ILA 2020 Teachers’ Choices Reading List.
Kate and Jol live in Sydney, Australia, with their two sons. They regularly visit schools and writers’ festivals to discuss ideas with young readers and writers. When they’re not writing, Kate pretends to play the piano and Jol makes little egg-carton shelters for his Star Wars characters.
Barry WittensteinSaturday, November 21 | 12:30-2:00 pm ET
Barry Wittenstein is the author of A Place to Land: Martin Luther King Jr. and the Speech That Inspired a Nation, winner of the 2020 Orbis Pictus Award. He has written several picture books, including Waiting for Pumpsie and The Boo-Boos That Changed the World: A True Story about an Accidental Invention (Really!). Barry lives in New York City.
Valerie KinlochSunday, November 22 | 10:30-11:45 am ET
NCTE President-Elect Valerie Kinloch currently holds the positions of Renée and Richard Goldman dean and professor, School of Education, University of Pittsburgh; executive member, AERA Consortium of University and Research Institutions; and co-chair, Remake Learning Council. Prior to assuming the deanship at the University of Pittsburgh, Kinloch served as professor of literacy studies, associate dean, Ohio State University; assistant professor, literacy studies, Teachers College-Columbia University.
Ebony FlowersSunday, November 22 | 10:30-11:45 am ET
Ebony is a cartoonist and an ethnographer. She was born and raised in Maryland. She holds a BA in Biological Anthropology from the University of Maryland College Park and a PhD in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she wrote her dissertation as a comic (mostly). Her expertise is in qualitative research and evaluation, picture-based methods, curriculum studies, and S.T.E.A.M. education. Ebony is a 2017 Rona Jaffe Award recipient, a 2019 Ignatz Award recipient for Promising New Talent, and a 2020 Believer Award recipient for Fiction. She was also nominated for a 2020 NAACP Image Award for Literacy (Young Adult Fiction). She lives in Denver, CO.
Jason ReynoldsSunday, November 22 | 9:00-10:15 am ET
Jason Reynolds is a #1 New York Times bestselling author, a Newbery Award Honoree, a Printz Award Honoree, a two-time National Book Award finalist, a Kirkus Award winner, a two-time Walter Dean Myers Award winner, an NAACP Image Award winner, and the recipient of multiple Coretta Scott King honors. Reynolds is also the 2020–2021 National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature. His many books include When I Was the Greatest, The Boy in the Black Suit, All American Boys (cowritten with Brendan Kiely), As Brave as You, For Every One, the Track series (Ghost, Patina, Sunny, and Lu), Look Both Ways, and Long Way Down, which received a Newbery Honor, a Printz Honor, and a Coretta Scott King Honor. He lives in Washington, DC. You can find his ramblings at JasonWritesBooks.com.
Thursday, November 18 | 7:30–8:30 p.m. ET
Founder, Center for the Education and Equity of African American Students
Gloria BoutteThursday, November 18 | 7:30–8:30 p.m. ET
Gloria Boutte is a Carolina Distinguished Professor at the University of South Carolina. Her scholarship and teaching focus on equity pedagogies. Boutte has authored/edited African Diaspora Literacy: The Heart of Transformation in K–12 Schools and Teacher Education (2019 AESA Critics Choice Award), Educating African American Students: And How Are the Children?; Resounding Voices: School Experiences of People from Diverse Ethnic Backgrounds; and Multicultural Education: Raising Consciousness. She has received prestigious Fulbright Scholar and Fulbright Specialist awards. She is the founder of the Center for the Education and Equity of African American Students.
Kimberly N. ParkerThursday, November 18 | 7:30–8:30 p.m. ET
Kimberly N. Parker currently prepares preservice teachers as the assistant director of the Teacher Training Center at Shady Hill School in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Parker taught in public schools, universities, and graduate schools for 18 years, and served on several committees for the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) and the New England Association of Teachers of English (NEATE). As a Heinemann Fellow (2016–2018), Parker documented her successful work detracking her English language arts classroom for students of color. Her continuing scholarship is focused on the literacy lives of Black youth, particularly of Black boys. She is a cofounder of #DisruptTexts. She can be found on Twitter at @TchKimpossible.